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Exit, Bird Flu Dreams


Magnan Emrich Contemporary
505 West 28th Street, 212-244-2344
May 18 - June 24, 2006
Reception: Thursday, May 18, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

It’s Friday morning, and hyper-caffeinated introverts are hysterical, particularly with a politically inappropriate `bucks coffee cup in tow. A late-twenties (my guess) artist who keeps a low profile, exit static (or es , no caps, ever) formerly based in LA, now in “super Downtown Brooklyn, right by the coolest water,” and takes his visual cues from biker and skateboarder culture. A graduate art school dropout (Chicago, “dude, it was so cold”), his full nickname came about initially as a joke because of his truly shy manner, mistaken for arrogance, never showing up at his own openings; just dropping off the art work, like residual static after a quiet exit.

So far, exit seems to engage the artworld just enough to not pay rent as a bike courier anymore (first dangerous NY job), or, worse, waitering along restaurant row on Smith Street (“bad brokedish memories, when the hipsters started the baby boom, you know”). The artist has been obsessed with the bird flu for the last two yeas. He thinks it’s coming; he keeps drawing clouds of black birds, “But they’re not really black birds, they could be any wild birds. It’s like that old black & white thriller (before my time, I can’t remember the name). They’re also like mosquitoes, with tattoo needle sharp beaks. And they suddenly come out of nowhere and cover the whole Los Angeles sky in my dreams. I’ve even run over to Chinatown to get those dry star flowers [a tea] from which they’re making the antibiotic. This thing is driving me crazy, man”

“The birds are definitely coming, you know [he continues], they’re everywhere in the creative collective imagination: on shirts, pants, jackets. Visions are now communicated through consumerism. It’s totally sick, but it’s what we’ve come to. Maybe I should just write down a poem or something, but I keep drawing them on paper, diner napkins, and my skateboard. I want to paint them huge on brick walls, and tell the world that this big damn fucking thing is almost here… [He suddenly gets quiet.] Poor guys, people will probably go crazy and start killing all the birds. That’s what I’m really sad about.”

exit works sometimes with his ex-girlfriend (a.k.a. ghost pearl, “way too much into `70s fashion for me”) and close friends (beer blond wheels & the rock pigeon design folks, “still surviving idealistically—unlisted”), in creating what they describe as artwork with content through play. “Even making serious art has to be fun, or it’s not worth doing.” Not much of a realbody guy (big on science fiction), the elusive artist can best be tracked down through e-mail. “Don’t call me, just get our stuff so we can make more. I’ll sort of show up when Verizon comes up with holos.”

es describes his first gallery exhibit attempt in NY as an experiment to see what works. “The one thing I learned from a designer girlfriend was the fashion world’s ability to hone their highfaluting catwalk products to middle-class consumer reality. That used to be called commercialism in the artworld; a big no-no. But I think that fishing for the mind of the public is a good strategy for an artist. I’m not gonna change what I’m about. I’m just going to repackage my software until everyone’s eating it with milk at midnight in their dirty AA underwear.”

Related blog post(s): James Wagner
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